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Current, former U.Va. astronomers honored

Friday - 5/31/2013, 4:10am  ET

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) -- A University of Virginia astronomer and his former U.Va. colleague have been awarded $1 million from the Shaw Prize Foundation.

The Shaw Prize is considered Asia's equivalent to the Nobel Prize, which does not specifically provide an award for astronomy.

Virginia's John Hawley and Steven Balbus, now at the University of Oxford, will share the prize. U.Va. says in a news release that the astronomers are being recognized for their early 1990s discovery of the mechanism that accounts for accretion, which plays a key role in star formation and contributes to the growth of supermassive black holes in the centers of galaxies.

Hong Kong film producer Run Run Shaw established the Shaw Prize in 2002.

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Tags: astronomy